8 Practical Present Ideas for the Holidays

Practical presents are the obvious choice for those people on your holiday gift list who say there’s nothing they want or need. When you get someone a practical gift, you enjoy the certainty of knowing that one way or another, it will come in handy for them. Plus, you get the satisfaction of surprising them with something they didn’t necessarily ask for or expect to get.

To help guide your holiday shopping this year, and make it as painless as possible, we’ve compiled a list of the top 8 most practical cargo control gifts for 2018. 

 

Moving Supplies

1. Moving Blanket

using a moving blanket as a dog bed

This first practical present idea comes in handy for way more than just protecting furniture during a move. Not only can moving blankets be used as portable pet beds (on couches, car seats, or dog house) they can also be used as a soft place to lay or sit when boating, camping, hunting, or at a sporting event. We also have sound blankets that are great for recording studios or to drown out a noisy neighbor. 

 

Truck and Trailer Gear

2. Cargo Net

cargo net on pickup truck flatbed

Cargo nets are an excellent gift for pick-up truck owners. They’re lighter and easier to manage compared to tarps, and they still do a great job at securing cargo. US Cargo Control has short bed truck cargo nets and long bed truck cargo nets. Both come with cam buckles and S-hooks for quick securement. We also sell small cargo nets for motorcycles and mopeds.

 

3. Recovery Straps

where to get recovery straps

Anyone who owns a pick-up truck or even a large SUV should keep a recovery strap in their vehicle at all times, especially during the winter months. If you know someone who likes offroading or mudding, this gift is a no-brainer for them. Our recovery straps are made in the USA and designed for both recovery and towing use.

 

4. Car Tie-Downs

image of adjustable wheel net

If you need a practical present for a car collector, mechanic, or tow truck driver, auto tie-down straps are a perfect choice. Auto tie-downs are really only practical for someone who frequently hauls vehicles or someone who owns a flatbed trailer or tow dolly. USCC has both wheels nets and tow dolly straps for sale.

 

5. Ratchet Straps

yellow ratchet straps in truck bed holding a kayak secure

A person can never have enough ratchet straps. And US Cargo Control has one of the largest selection of ratchet straps, cam straps, and heavy-duty tie downs that you’ll find anywhere. Hunters and outdoorsmen love our camo ratchet straps and if the person on your list ever hauls heavy cargo, our BlackLine ratchet straps have the strongest break strength in the industry.

 

6. Good-N-Tight Ratchet Handle

tool for tightening ratchet straps

If you know someone who frequently tightens ratchet straps, the Good-N-Tight ratchet strap tightening handle would be a super helpful gift for them. It’s built for 2″, 3″, and 4″ ratchet straps and makes tightening them up a breeze. Plus, the Good-N-Tight handle reduces back stress and the potential for injury.

 

7. USCC Apparel

trucking industry clothing

Clothing is always a great practical present idea. Everyone needs it. Give the present of warmth this holiday with our pullover style hooded sweatshirt with a double-lined hood. We also have branded mechanics gloves, USCC trucker caps, and stainless steel tumblers that keep drinks cold for 24 hours and warm for up to 6 hours.

 

Lifting Equipment

8. Chain Hoist

chain hoist 1 ton

If you’re really feeling generous this holiday, give the practical gift of massive lifting power with a Columbus McKinnon Chain Hoist or Coffing Chain Hoist. These powerful tools make a great gift for hunters, farmers, construction workers, and mechanics. Chain hoists can lift anything from engines and building materials to animal feed and can even be used as a fast way to skin a deer.

 

Expected Delivery Time

There you have it. 8 practical present ideas for the 2018 holiday season. Don’t wait until it’s too late, place your order today to ensure these gifts arrive on time. 

Orders placed before 4pm Central time will ship out the same day, and delivery to most of the United States takes just 1-3 days.

From the USCC family to yours, have a safe and happy holiday. 

 

4 Tips for Buying the Right Rigging & Lifting Equipment

If you work in the rigging and lifting industry you know that, when lives are on the line, close is never close enough. Safety measures, procedures, and equipment specs have to be spot-on.

Maintaining a safe job site starts with having the proper equipment for the job. But, with thousands of different rigging products, each with their own distinct characteristics, capabilities, and reputation, many riggers face the struggle of trying to choose the correct rigging and lifting equipment for the job.

Here are the 4 main things to pay attention to when deciding which rigging and lifting products are best for your particular job.

 

1. Assess what your lifting

To start, you need to assess the object or objects you are needing to lift or rig up. Does the object have sharp corners? Where is the center of gravity in your load? How much lifting space do you have? Asking these questions first will help to narrow down the potential rigging gear you can safely and effectively use for the job.

 

 

2. Know your Load Limit

working load limit on lifting gear for safety

Working load limit is the maximum weight that can safely be applied to a given piece of rigging equipment. It’s different for each individual piece of equipment, so be sure to pay close attention to this when selecting your rigging and lifting gear. Just one weak area puts the entire operation at risk. Check the weight of your load first, then ensure that you only buy equipment that is rated for that weight or more.

 

 

3. Consider Temperature & Environment

tips for choosing best rigging and lifting equipment

In applications that experience extremely high or low temperatures, certain equipment may not operate properly. For example, if you’re working in a high-heat environment, you will want to use wire rope with an independent wire rope core (IWRC) instead of a fiber core (FC). Also, consider the worksite environment. If saltwater is a factor, buy stainless steel rigging gear to prevent corrosion.

 

 

4. Opt for Quality

high quality lifting and rigging gear for manufacturing industry

Strength and durability is the name of the game when it comes to rigging and lifting gear. For the best chance of avoiding accidents and equipment that wears out quickly, you’ll want to ensure that you’re purchasing high-quality rigging equipment from trustworthy sources. It may not always be the most affordable choice, but it will be the smartest choice in the long run.

 

The importance of buying the right equipment is clear when you consider the stakes of lifting and handling heavy loads. Don’t guess. Take the time to thoroughly evaluate the job at hand before buying. When you do buy rigging and lifting supplies, be sure to check all the manufacturer specifications and ask questions if you’re unsure.

USCC has a team of dedicated product consultants that are just a phone call away. If you have product questions or would like to place an order over the phone instead of on our website, give them a call at 800-404-7068.

 

3 Reasons to Buy a Manual Chain Hoist over an Electric Chain Hoist

Chain hoists are simple devices that give you a massive mechanical advantage. By leveraging small force over a long distance and transforming it to large force over a short distance, chain hoists are able to accomplish heavy lifts and pulls that would otherwise be impossible for a person to accomplish alone.

Chain hoists can be either electric or manual, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both. In this post, we will focus on manual chain hoists.

 

Manual Chain Hoist Advantages

hand hoist vs. lever hoistWhile manual chain hoists won’t lift quite as fast and effortlessly as electric hoists, there are many advantages to owning a manual chain hoist.

1. Manual chain hoists don’t require any electricity or power source. This makes them much more portable compared to electric hoists.

2. Manual hoists are more cost-efficient compared to electric or hydraulic hoists. Not only do electric hoists cost more initially, but they also raise electricity bills.

3. The simple design of manual hoists makes them easier to repair and maintain. No complex motors, wires, or electrical/hydraulic systems.

 

Although electric chain hoists are able to lift heavier loads, manual hoists can still have working load limits (WLL) up to 20 tons. As long as what your lifting is below that, there’s no reason not to opt for a manual hoist.

There are two main styles of manual chain hoists to choose from: hand hoists and lever hoists.

 

Hand Chain Hoists

Hand hoists have a simplistic design and are easy to operate and maintain.

Hand hoists require the use of both your hands to operate. As you pull one chain, a wheel turns a series of cogs, axles, gears, and sprockets and in turn rotates the second load chain to lift or pull your load. The lifting mechanism is designed to do most of the work for you. To ensure your safety and the safety of the load, many chain hoists have a braking system that prevents the load from slipping back. Unlike lever hoists, hand hoists are ideal for high vertical loads. You can continue to operate the pulling chain from the ground even when the hoist is positioned up high.

US Cargo Control sells both Columbus McKinnon hand hoists and Coffing hand hoists.

 

advantages of a hand hoist
CM Series 622 Hand Chain Hoist

chain hoist 1 ton
CM Cyclone Hand Chain Hoist

Coffing LHH Hand Chain Hoist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columbus McKinnon Manual Hand Hoist Models

  • CM 622 Hoist – a construction-grade hand hoist with low headroom and easy installation. 1/2 ton to 5 ton WLL.
  • CM Hurricane 360 Hoist – this hand hoist has a chain cover that rotates 360° so loads can be lifted, pulled, and positioned from nearly any angle. WLL ranges from 1/2 ton to 10 tons.
  • CM Cyclone Hoist – a high-quality, rigorously tested hand hoist that is 100% American made. Choose from 1/4 ton to 10 ton WLL.

 

Coffing Manual Hand Hoists Models

  • Coffing LHH Hoist – the compact design of this hand hoist makes it portable and easy to inspect and maintain. It also has low headroom and a WLL range of 1/2 ton to 20 tons.

 

Lever Chain Hoists

Lever hoists are also quite easy to operate and maintain. To operate them, you simply crank a side lever that is attached directly to the lifting mechanism. Unlike hand hoists, lever hoists can be operated using just one hand. This makes them ideal for horizontal, angled, and low vertical loads. Because the lever handle is located up next to the lifting mechanism, you must be close to the point of hook-up to operate.

US Cargo Control sells quality Columbus McKinnon (CM) lever hoists and Coffing lever hoists.

 

3 ton lever chain hoist
CM Series 653 Lever Chain Hoist

ratchet lever chain hoist
CM Tornado 360 Lever Chain Hoist

mini lever chain hoist
CM Mini Series 602 Lever Chain Hoist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CM Lever Chain Hoists

  • CM 653 Hoist – this is a construction-grade lever hoist with a very short handle. Ideal for working in small spaces. WLL range from 3/4 ton up to 6 tons.
  • CM Bandit Hoist– this durable hoist is assembled in the USA with American made hooks and chain. Extremely portable and versatile with a 360° rotating handle. 3/4 ton to 6 ton WLL.
  • CM Tornado 360 Hoist – has a unique sidewinder lever handle that improves both lifting and pulling efficiency. Ergonomic design increases safety. Choose among 3/4 ton WLL to 6 tons, with load limiters as an option.
  • CM Mini Series 602 Hoist – this is the most compact lever chain hoist available. Extremely portable as it weighs only 6 to 7 pounds. Quick to load with a 1/4 ton working load limit.
  • CM Mini Series 603 Hoist – another extremely compact and portable chain hoist that features quick load attachment. Not quite as light but has a 1/2 ton working load limit.

 

Coffing Chain Hoists

  • Coffing LSB Hoist – this lever hoist features a through-hardened load chain and lifetime lubricated gears. 360° rotating handle for versatile rigging options. WLL ranges from 3/4 ton up to 6 tons.

 

Chain Hoist Video

Lacy has more information on the chain hoists we sell in the video below.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ5TfYDU1Xg?rel=0

How to Use Plate Clamps Safely and Effectively

Plate clamps, or sheet clamps, make difficult lifts safer and easier. While these strong lifting tools allow for faster production speeds, they should not be used haphazardly. The use of plate lifting clamps requires an operator who is trained on their use and who takes safety seriously.

 

how to use plate lifting clamp
Remember to always position the plate clamp over the center of gravity to maximize control.

How Plate Clamps Work

Plate clamps eliminate the need for drilling or creating a hitch. The most important parts of a plate clamp include the lifting shackle, spring, teeth within the jaw, and the various links and pins. To lift a plate, the teeth of the plate clamp need to be pushed into the plate. With help from the powerful spring,  this turns the lifting point of the clamp into the lifting point of the plate and essentially causes the two objects to become one.

What’s great about plate clamps is that their grip strength automatically increases as the load gets heavier. Essentially, the weight of the load determines how much link tension there will be and the link tension determines jaw torque and ultimately grip strength. Learn more about what this means below.

 

How to Pick the Proper Size and Type of Plate Clamp

Choosing the proper size plate clamp will not only maximize safety but also extend the life of the plate clamp. To do this, you should buy a clamp with the closest working load limit (WLL) to the weight of the plate being lifted. This ensures that the jaw provides optimal clamping force and penetration. Keep in mind that bigger is not always better with plate clamps. There are minimum load requirements because a load that is too light will not be able to create sufficient grip strength. That’s why most plate clamps have both minimum and maximum load requirements stamped on them. It’s recommended that you avoid lifting a load that’s 20% below the rated capacity of the clamp.

plate lifting clamps without teeth
This Crosby® IPNM10P non-marring lifting clamp lifts plates without damage or scratching

You also need to pay close attention to the max jaw capacity of the plate clamp.  Jaw capacity should be as close as possible to the thickness of the material you’re lifting.

Lastly, you should not be lifting plates that have a surface that is harder than the teeth of the clamp. For plates that have an extremely hard surface or a surface which could be easily damaged, there are certain types of lifting clamps that have a non-marring jaw and no teeth. Examples of this are the Crosby® IPNM10 Lifting Clamps and the Terrier TNMK/TNMKA Lifting Clamps.

 

 

Safety Tips for Vertical Plate Lifting Clamps

Vertical plate lifting clamps can lift and turn over flat plates 180 degrees and can be used to transport plates in a vertical position.

Vertical lifting clamps should never be sideloaded and you should never try to lift more than one plate at a time. If you’re lifting a long plate, you should consider using two clamps connected to a spreader bar to minimize swing and maximize lifting safety. Also, keep in mind that plates which are hot in temperature can damage the structural integrity of the plate clamp. Columbus McKinnon recommends that you do not lift plates that are 250 degrees or higher.

 

Safety Tips for Horizontal Plate Lifting Clamps

spreader bar for lifting clamps
Spreader bars like this one are ideal for lifting long plates.

Just as their name suggests, horizontal lifting clamps are used to lift horizontal objects.

If you are lifting a long plate horizontally, never use a quad sling. This will cause the horizontal clamps to turn and potentially slip off. Instead, use a spreader bar with double-leg slings that connect to the plate clamp. When it comes to lifting short plates horizontally, one double sling with horizontal plate clamps on each end will suffice. To maintain proper lifting strength and control, always ensure there is a minimum included angle of at least 90 degrees. Never use vertical plate clamps for a horizontal lift.

 

How to Inspect and Care for Plate Clamps

Lifting clamps should be inspected every 1-4 weeks depending on use. To prevent plates from slipping, you should degrease clamps regularly and remove any grit, dirt, or mud. You should also lubricate the moving parts of the clamp, but never lubricate the teeth of a lifting clamp.  Check the teeth regularly for chips and breaks. According to ASME standards, chipped teeth are only acceptable if the chip is less than half the width of the tooth and the adjoining teeth are undamaged. If there is any tooth damage beyond this, the plate lifting clamp is not safe to use.

Other things to look for when inspecting plate lifting clamps include spring deformation, pad deformation, bending of hook ring, markings on top of the mouth, wear on any pins, pulling on rivets, and hook elongation.

minimize swing on a crane
For full inspection instructions, refer to ASME B30.20.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As stated above, choosing the proper size and type of lifting clamp is the best way to ensure longer plate clamp life. Another thing that riggers can do to care for their plate lifting clamps is to minimize swing during the lift. Less swing results in less stress on the lifting clamp and a good crane operator knows how to minimize swing.

 

If you have any other questions about plate clamps let us know in the comment section below. 

 

Buy Plate Clamps

US Cargo Control is proud to sell both Crosby® Lifting Clamps and Terrier Lifting Clamps. We are confident in the quality that these brands offer the rigging and lifting industry.

How to Safely Apply Wire Rope Clips to Wire Rope Assemblies

This video shows you how to safely apply wire rope clips to wire rope assemblies. Depending on the size of your assembly, two to three wire rope clips are generally required. See below for a full transcript of the video. 

 

 

For more information on the differences among wire rope clips and how to choose the correct one, see our How to Use Wire Rope Clips post.

Safety Notes: Always inspect wire rope for wear and abuse before applying wire rope clips. Apply wire rope clips over bare wire rope only. Use wire rope thimbles to protect the eye from being crushed and to prevent wear and abrasion on the rope.  Never use a wire rope clip to directly connect two straight lengths of wire rope.
 

An important phrase to remember when applying a wire rope clip is “Never Saddle a Dead Horse”. This means you should never apply the saddle side of the clip over the dead end of the rope – the live end should always rest in the saddle. See above video for a demonstration. 

Step 1.   

Turn back the specified amount of rope from the thimble. Apply first clip one base width from the dead end of the rope. Tighten nuts evenly, alternating from one nut to the other until reaching the recommended torque. 

Step 2.  

If only two clips are required, apply the second clip as near the loop or thimble as possible. Remember, U-Bolt over dead end. Tighten nuts evenly, alternating until reaching the recommended torque.  

When applying more than two clips, apply the second clip as near the loop or thimble as possible, turn nuts on second clip firmly, but do not tighten.  

Step 3.   

Space additional clips equally between the first two. Apply tension and then tighten the nuts on each clip evenly, alternating from one nut to the other until reaching recommended torque. 

 

Purchase Wire Rope Clips and more from US Cargo Control 

From wire rope, wire rope clips, and wire rope thimbles, to chain hoists and material handling equipment, US Cargo Control has your rigging and lifting equipment needs covered. Visit US Cargo Control.com or call 866-444-9990.  With teams of dedicated consultants, we make sure you get what you want, when you need it.  

US Cargo Control is Headed to NATE UNITE 2018

The NATE Association

US Cargo Control is a proud member of the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE). NATE is a non-profit trade association that provides members with uniform safety standards, improved communications, and a unified voice for tower erection, service and maintenance companies.

For over 20 years, NATE has been recognized as the industry leader in promoting safety, standards, education and uniform practices and procedures.

#NATEUNITE2018

Next week, Nashville, TN, is hosting NATE UNITE 2018, and our very own Lacy, Alex and David are very excited to be attending this annual event. These three are all members of US Cargo Control’s dedicated Rigging & Lifting team, meaning they are product experts within this specialized industry.

Along with educational sessions led by industry experts discussing current relevant topics, there is also an exhibition component where attendees get to meet other professionals within the telecommunications industry and see what new products are available.

The US Cargo Control team will be exhibiting at booth #437. Among the new products we’ll have on hand are Crosby, Van Beest, and Chicago Hardware shackles; cargo and lifting nets; a variety of slings; as well as custom options for lifting and rigging supplies.

Our team knows that NATE puts on a great annual event that never disappoints. From the educational sessions to the networking events, NATE does a great job of getting everyone involved. “One thing I have noticed about NATE and the telecom industry is the people and the passion they have for what they are doing,” says Lacy. We find that truly inspiring.

David, Alex and Lacy are most looking forward to spending time with our current customers, and they can’t wait to meet new people and spread that word about what US Cargo Control can do for their company. From the networking to the learning and beyond, US Cargo Control is very proud to be a NATE member, and a part of #NATEUNITE2018!

Please stop by and meet David, Alex and Lacy if you are attending this wonderful event.

New Products: Van Beest Green Pin® Shackles and Turnbuckles

Van Beest Green Pin® Product Additions

US Cargo Control has made a number of additions to their website with two types of Van Beest Green Pin® products: turnbuckles and shackles. These Van Beest Green Pin® products fall under a price point that is very affordable, while maintaining high-quality standards.

Van Beest is a leading manufacturer of high-quality fittings for lifting chain and steel wire rope. The Green Pin® brand has earned a reputation as an industry leader in design and premium quality standards, and is compliant within a wide range of nationally- and internationally-recognized standards.

Van Beest Green Pin® Jaw and Jaw Turnbuckle
Van Beest Green Pin® Jaw and Jaw Turnbuckle

Green Pin® Turnbuckles

Turnbuckles are used for rigging or tensioning wires, ropes, rods, etc., typically within industries such as oil and gas, construction, shipping, mining and fishing. They are optimally designed for in-line rigging, tensioning or lashing. All Van Beest turnbuckles offered by US Cargo Control are intended for straight or in-line use only.

The Van Beest Green Pin® turnbuckles US Cargo Control carries includes galvanized jaw & jaw, galvanized jaw & eye, and galvanized eye & eye. All are drop forged high tensile steel SAE 1035 or 1045 and hot dipped galvanized. These turnbuckles range in size from 3/8” to 2-3/4” diameters, and lengths from 6” to 24”.

Green Pin® Shackles

Van Beest Green Pin® Bolt Type Anchor Shackle
Van Beest Green Pin® Bolt Type Anchor Shackle

Shackles are a tool used in lifting operations and stationary applications as removable links to connect rope, wire rope, chain, lifting slings and other fittings. They come in a variety of sizes, styles and types for use in many different applications. Green Pin® shackles are made in Holland to exacting specifications.

Our Van Beest Green Pin® shackle line was recently expanded to include eight types of shackles, totaling 121 items offered. We carry a variety of wide mouth tow shackles, wide body sling shackles, bolt type shackles, screw pin shackles.

Choosing the right parts and fittings for your application can be a daunting task. Our sales specialists are always happy to help consult with any questions you may have. Give us a call at 866-444-9990.

New Product Alert: Grade 100 Chain Slings

US Cargo Control has launched a new manufacturing capability with the introduction of KWB Grade 100 signal violet chain slings to their product line. KWB, a Pewag company, is known for their high-quality chain and fittings, while Pewag is a leader in the chain manufacturing industry, known for their innovation and high-quality products.

Chain slings are a powerful tool in heavy-duty overhead lifting applications. They also perform well in situations where excessive heat is an issue, or environmental issues (like chemicals) may be present.

4-leg grade 100 chain sling by KWB, a Pewag company
4-Leg Grade 100 chain sling

US Cargo Control offers chain slings that are custom-made on-site with Grade 100 alloy chain and fittings. Our Grade 100 chain and fittings are manufactured by KWB, a Pewag company, in a high-visibility signal violet color that is easily identifiable in the field. High-quality and European-made, all KWB products exceed U.S. standards of NACM, ASTM and OSHA. Every link of chain is proof load tested to 2.5 times the WLL.

Grade 100 offers a 25% higher load capacity than G80, with smaller chain dimensions, considerable weight reduction and easier handling.

Types of Chain Slings

Chain slings come in single leg, 2-leg, 3-leg and 4-leg configurations. Each assembly can be tailored by number of legs, chain dimension, type of hook, and chain length. Assemblies are made in the USA with direct oversight provided. Every component offers traceability with appropriate markings.

Adjustable chain slings are also available. These slings are manufactured with shortening hooks on the master link that allow the legs to be shortened without a reduction in load capacity (WLL) due to 4-fold safety.

The signal violet color slightly varies between the chain and the fittings due to the thick powder coating the components have, versus the spray painted coating of the chain.

Eric Japenga

When choosing a sling for your application, US Cargo Control Sales Specialist Eric Japenga suggests starting with determining the amount of weight your lift will cover. After you know your load’s weight you can identify how many legs you’ll need, then the diameter of the chain.

Japenga says with lower-weight lifts that do not require much stability, a one-legged sling should do the job. Add another leg to handle more weight. For the heaviest lifts, a three-legged sling offers the highest working load limit (WLL). You can add a 4th leg that will add stability, although it will not increase the WLL above the 3-legged sling.

Adding Fittings to Your Chain Sling

When it comes to choosing the type of hook for your sling, Pewag offers the following guidelines:

KWB Grade 100 Clevis Sling Hook
KWB Clevis Sling Hook

  • Grab hooks are typically used in choke applications
  • Clevis hooks do not require a connector hook, and are their most popular style
  • Sling hook with latches offer an added safety feature and are OSHA compliant
  • Eye hooks need a connecting link and can also be used with wire or synthetic rope
  • Self-locking hooks offer greater safety than latch hooks because these latches must be released manually
  • Swivel hooks are versatile and do not swivel under load
  • Foundry hooks are used when you need a larger mouth opening, however it should be noted that before using this type of hook, check whether hooks without safety latches are allowed for your application

When ordering your chain sling, if you require a proof testing certificate, you must request one at the time of order, and a nominal fee will be charged.

US Cargo Control is the exclusive carrier in the continental United States for KWB signal violet chain in the 9/32” to ½” sizes, making this not only a quality product, but a unique one as well. In addition to our exclusive KWB chain sizes, we also offer Grade 100 signal violet chain in 3/4” and 5/8” sizes.

Give us a call with any questions or to place an order, 800-660-3585.

What is a Snatch Block?

lisam
Lisa Mathews, US Cargo Control Sales & Service Specialist

A common question we hear is what is the difference between a snatch block and other types of blocks and pulleys?

All of the items we sell in the Snatch Blocks & Wire Rope Pulleys category can be called blocks or wire rope pulleys, but snatch block refers to a particular type of block. A snatch block has a side plate sometimes called a cheek plate, that can be opened for easy insertion of cable without having to remove the load or fittings from the end of the wire. The process of inserting a line into a block is called reeving.

Snatch blocks are often used in applications to move loads over short distances, as opposed to long lifts and continuous service.  They are called snatch blocks because they are often used in conjunction with a winch in a recovery application, and can improve the functionality of a winch by increasing its pull power. It also allows you to change the direction of your winch’s cable when the anchor point is offset.21009-4190-snatch-block-w-shackle-3-8-wire-x-3-sheave_1_375

With so many different styles and weight and size safety guidelines, it’s important to know what to look for when choosing a snatch block for the job. Important safety factors to keep in mind:

  • Check the Work Load Limit (WLL) of the snatch block as well as the wire rope. If the WLL of the wire is not compatible with the WLL of the pulley, it can be extremely dangerous should either fail.
  • Coordinate the size of the sheave in the snatch block to the diameter of the wire rope. If the wire rope is too large for the sheave, it can crack the block when under pressure. Generally, the wire rope-to-sheave size ratio should be 12:1 in order to hold the wire properly while under load.
  • Know your numbers. Because a snatch block can cut the direct pull load in half, choose a rigging pulley that has a rating of double the pull of the winch you’ll be using with it.

Choosing the right block and all the equipment to go along with it can be confusing. If you have any questions about using snatch blocks, choosing wire rope blocks, working load limits, etc., contact me or any one of our sales specialists at 800-660-3585. We’ll be happy to help.

-Lisa 

 

 

Sales Team Q&A: Guy Wire

Our latest Q&A responds to common questions the US Cargo Control sales team answers about rigging, specifically guy wire and its components. Guywire

Why is it called guy wire? 

Guy is defined as a rope, cord or cable used to steady, guide or secure something.  Guy wire is used to stabilize and secure antenna and utility towers.  The structure stays in place when the wire is attached to the tower and then anchored to the ground, creating a diagonal line. The tension from the cable and angle of securement stabilizes the tower, helping it withstand weight and wind.

1x7-EHS-Galvanized-Strand_1_375
Galvanized Guy Strand 1×7 and 1×19

 

What’s the difference between drop forged, malleable and precision cast in wire rope clips?

Drop forged wire rope clips are made for heavy duty jobs and are great as guy wire clamps. The drop forged steel coating provides extra strength and protection from the elements. However, these clips are not meant for overhead lifting.  They meet federal specifications FF-T0276b. Type III.

Precision cast wire rope clips are made of marine grade stainless steel and are typically used for water work. They are resistant to the salt in sea-water and materials used to de-ice. Their resistance to corrosion makes them ideal for harsh elements. These clips meet FED.SPEC.FF-C-450D.

Malleable wire rope clips are a softer clip typically used for light-duty work. They are often used to clamp the loose end of wire rope after forming an eye.

How is a shoulder eye bolt different from a regular eye bolt? 

Shoulder eye bolts and regular eye bolts differ in their intended uses for rigging. A regular eye bolt can be used for many different jobs, but for rigging, it should only be the tool of choice for vertical techniques. However, shouldered eye bolts can be used for angular jobs. The shoulder helps protect the shank from bending.  Keep in mind, angle loading reduces the bolt’s rating.

Questions

If you have questions, be sure to contact the US Cargo Control sales team at 800-866-3585. People can also email TowerProducts@USCargoControl.com.

 

Why is it Called Guy Wire?

Guy wire is used to stabilize and secure free-standing structures. It is commonly used by professional tower erecting companies to install towers in the antenna, communications and utility industries. KBRC_antenna_tower_guy_wires

The Guy Wire Name

Guy wire has many names. It is also known as guyed wire, guy cable, guy strand and guy anchors. People also (mistakenly) call it guide wire. The name guy wire is derived from the term guy: defined as a rope, cord or cable used to steady, guide or secure something.

Galvanized Guy Strand 1x7 and 1x19
Galvanized Guy Strand 1×7 and 1×19

Guy Wire Description  

Guy wire is a tensioned cable that is both lightweight and strong. US Cargo Control extra high strength (EHS) guy wire meets ASTM A475, and is available in two types: 1×7 and 1×19, in several sizes. The galvanized finish protects it from outdoor elements. Guy wire is designed to work with several fittings and components making it ideal for many different uses.

Guy Wire Hardware   

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Big Grip Dead Ends for Galvanized Strand

Big grip dead ends, also knowns as preforms, are used for high tensioning, often for antenna, communications and transmission towers.

End sleeves, also known as ice clips, are needed when using big grip dead ends. They are used to prevent unraveling.

End Sleeve Ice Clips for Big Grip Dead Ends
End Sleeve Ice Clips for Big Grip Dead Ends

Drop forged wire rope clips are used to clamp the loose end of wire rope after forming an eye.

Shackles are used for connecting wire rope, chain and slings. Bolt type anchor shackles are often used in projects involving guy wire.

Thimbles are used to protect the eye or loop of wire rope.

Turnbuckles are a tool used pull together or push apart guy anchors.

Guy Wire Installation

Guy wire installation is not a do-it-yourself  job. It should only be done by experienced, trained professionals. Custom sizing and pricing is available for contractors and other large volume customers. People with questions should call the US Cargo Control sales team at 800-660-3585, or email TowerProducts@USCargoControl.com.

What are the Differences Between Types of Shackles?

Shackles are manufactured  in a wide variety of types, styles, sizes, and fabrications, and with so many different options available, choosing the right shackle for the job can be confusing.

We’ve outlined some of the basic differences between the most common types of shackles. If you have any questions, contact one of our rigging product specialists on our sales team at 800-660-3585.


Anchor shackle/bow shackle vs.chain shackle/D-shackle

Anchor shackle
Anchor shackle

Bow shackles and anchor shackles are terms that are often used interchangeably, as both names refer to a shackle with a larger, rounded “O” shape look. However, a bow shackle typically has a larger, more defined bow area than an anchor shackle. The rounded design of anchor shackles and bow shackles allow them to take loads from many directions without developing significant side load. The larger loop shape of an anchor shackle or bow shackle does reduce its overall strength, but it is also able to handle a larger strap.

 

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Chain shackle

Chain shackles are also known as D-shackles. Both refer to the “D” shape design. A d-shackle is narrower than a bow or anchor shackle and generally have a threaded pin or pin close. The smaller loop is designed to take high loads primarily in line. Side and racking loads may twist or bend a D or chain shackle.

Both types of shackles are generally always available in galvanized  metal and stainless steel, and all come with different pin options as well.

 

Stainless steel vs. galvanized 

Both stainless steel and galvanized metal offer excellent protection from rust and corrosion, making either a good choice.

In general, galvanized shackles are ideal for industrial applications where moisture is not a major issue. Galvanized steel has a thin coating of zinc oxide to protect the steel from elements that lead to corrosion and oxidation. Galvanized is also a great value as it tends to be less expensive than stainless steel, but still maintains the shackle’s strength and durability.

Stainless steel shackles are more corrosive-resistant and, are therefore ideal for marine applications. Our stainless steel shackles are made of type 316 stainless steel, which is considered “marine grade.” Type 316 marine grade stainless steel contains molybdenum, which makes it resistant to ocean water mist or spray, so it’s especially useful in extreme conditions or moisture or in a high chloride environment. Type 316 stainless D shackle equipment is ideal for sailing and yacht rigging uses.

 

Snap shackles

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Swivel Eye Snap Shackle

A snap shackle is designed with a spring-activated mechanism so it can be used quickly and with one hand. These are excellent for jobs where speed is important, or when it needs to be repeated connected/disconnected. Because they generally  have lower working load limits than comparable bolt type or pin type shackles, snap shackles are not recommended for heavy-duty applications. We offer four main types, all in Type 316 stainless steel: Swivel Eye, Swivel Jaw, Fixed Snap, and Rope Snap.

 

Pin options

The pin that locks a shackle can be a deciding factor on which will work best for your job. Pin styles range include loose pins, captive pins, round pins, screw pins, and bolt type pins. Screw pin shackles are popular because they offer a pin that is easy to connect and disconnect. Captive pin shackles offer a pin that cannot be removed from the bow of the shackle which is essential in various marine applications. Captive pins are also particularly  popular for marine uses because they can’t be accidentally dropped in the water. Bolt type shackles secure with a bolt/nut/cotter pin combination and are popular for more heavy duty securement.

Shop our full selection from our website:

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